Just because Madison is home to the famous University of Wisconsin doesn’t mean that the city is reserved for students. Madison’s Midwestern charm and abundance of available jobs make this a fantastic city for young professionals looking to launch their careers. Many university graduates remain in the city for these very same reasons, so you certainly aren’t alone in your quest to find a fantastic space to begin living independently.
Most young professionals are searching for a modest living space at a reasonable price, but not at the expense of comfort. Two bedroom apartments are usually the most desirable kinds of homes, because it gives you a little extra room for a home office or gym. Always make sure you know whether the landlord is offering a conventional lease or student lease. Because Madison is a college town, many landlords target their apartments specifically to students by crafting an seasonal leasing system that centers around the school year. Conventional leases do not use University of Wisconsin’s academic year to determine the lease dates. Investing in a home with environmentally friendly features can also be beneficial, both to the planet and your wallet.
There are also a few non-essential apartment features you might want to look for. Freedom to paint and decorate is high on the priority list for some. It’s the first time you’re living without roommates and their “taste” constraints. Perhaps you can’t wait to finally put up that fuchsia accent wall or model your living room after a Spanish bordello like you’ve always wanted. If you have drastic interior design ideas for your new place, be sure you rent an apartment that’s open to wall painting and other alterations. If it’s your first time living alone, you may want a furry friend to keep you company and take the place of your old college roommate (except this one doesn’t take up your only bathroom for three hours or talk back). So be sure to keep your future pet plans in mind when selecting a new place.
While having more than one bedroom is certainly desirable, it’s important to remember that other things can take priority over square footage. Many young professionals tend to spend more time out on the town than lounging in their apartment. If a lot of your spare time is spent tapping on computer keys in nearby coffee houses or listening to live music in local clubs, you may want to think about focusing on a smaller, more economical layout.
Location is key. You may be out of college, but you certainly aren’t dead. You probably still want to have an active social life and party (though hopefully a little more responsibly than your college years). Many young professionals prefer to live in urban areas because it’s closer to the action. A nice downtown Madison apartment could be just what you’re looking for.
Though downtown Madison is close to many great restaurants and bars, the rent may be pricier than you’re looking for. Even if you have just landed the high paying job, most of the apartments in the downtown area are aimed more towards wealthy retired couples or students whose parents are willing to pay for their off-campus housing. Obviously areas near the University are densely populated with students. East and West Madison tend to house more families and young professionals, so if you’re looking to network, it would be wise to check out those areas of town. It’s also important to keep in mind how far away you are from office areas and major highways, to make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for a tough commute. However, if you are a homebody and decide that square footage is a prime importance, you can always move into a larger apartment in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area.
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